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5 things: Parents upset after schools run out of food

This and more are the things you missed for the week of Dec. 11.

Each Friday I compile a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the news that week and why you should care about them.

Here’s your list for the week of Dec. 11:

1. Parents upset after schools run out of food

Two instances of schools running out of food surfaced this week. The first came in Roswell, N.M., where parents have taken to social media to call out the district for running out of food. “Last week actually my daughter told me that they had run out of macaroni and cheese, so she was just left with green beans to eat,” one parent said, according to KRQE. The district says the issue was with one school and that running out of food was rare, however one student told KRQE that the issue was more frequent and that she received only a roll for lunch one day.

The second incident happened in Kansas where a mother said her daughter was served a hot dog on a hamburger bun and beans, but she did not receive the French fries or vegetables that were also on the menu because the district ran out. According to the parent, the school ran out of everything, including the entrée, the following day and students were told to take a bag of chips for lunch instead. The principal admitted the school had seen issues and released a statement that said, in part: “We are coming up to break and we don’t want to have leftovers, but we don’t want to run out of food. It’s very unfortunate that happened. We try to do the best we can. It’s hard trying to feed 1,000 and offer choices.” 

Read more: Parents in a frenzy after shortage of food at Roswell schools and Facebook post stirs questions about HHS lunch
 
 2. University creates 3D meals for hospital patients

One of the big themes in healthcare foodservice right now is food as medicine. So what if you could tailor a meal for individual patients to help them heal? One university is looking to do just that—with 3D-printed meals. The department of food science at the University of Copenhagen has launched a new initiative that would see meals printed for patients to help them in their healing process, be that for those with swallowing issues or in need of a boost of vitamins. It’s not all theoretical either, as the meals will be tested at Aalborg University Hospital soon.

Read more: University of Copenhagen develops 3D printed meals tailored to hospital patients

3. Rutgers increased students’ minimum wage to $11

Following a campaign by a local students’ labor rights group, Rutgers University said it would increase its minimum wage for student workers to $11. It had been at the state-mandated rate of $8.44. While the labor group said it was a step in the right direction, they had campaigned for a $15 minimum wage. The increase takes effect in 2018. 

Read more: Rutgers to raise minimum wage to $11 an hour for student workers
 
 4. RA pulls out of university contract

Restaurant Associates, best known for its contracts in the B&I segment, has pulled out of its contract at George Washington University. RA had been operating at the school only since August 2016. When RA took over, the meal plan was overhauled, removing the only traditional dining hall and instead relying on vendors. Students had expressed frustration over the changes for the past year. The university says the move away from RA will allow it to make changes, including proposals for all-you-care-to-eat facilities on campus.

Read more: Campus dining provider pulls out of contract with University

5.  LA schools serve meals during firestorms
When firestorms hit the LA area last week, many schools closed. That certainly puts a strain on those children who rely on school meals, often their only sources of food. So three schools in the San Fernando Valley were open last weekend so families could pick up meals, and other schools stayed open serving supper for those families who had been affected by the fires.

Read more: Schools are closed amid firestorms, but campus kitchens stay open

Bonus: USDA solicits public input on food credits

Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected] 
Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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